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trevor borocz johnson

Climate change!!!!

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Truthseeker007
On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 5:32 PM, trevor borocz johnson said:

Rabbi Ben Judah, prophet of the bible says 2024, I say 2023, this article says 2026 , a popular year in the science community http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/extinction.html

More like when the Sun becomes a red giant in 5 billion years. That will be the end of the Earth. 

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trevor borocz johnson
27 minutes ago, Truthseeker007 said:

More like when the Sun becomes a red giant in 5 billion years. That will be the end of the Earth. 

Well the sun will gradually grow hotter over next few hundreds of millions of years. I've heard this will probably kill the earth long before it burns out of fuel.

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Truthseeker007
5 minutes ago, trevor borocz johnson said:

Well the sun will gradually grow hotter over next few hundreds of millions of years. I've heard this will probably kill the earth long before it burns out of fuel.

Well there you have it and that will be the end.

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trevor borocz johnson
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Truthseeker007 said:

Well there you have it and that will be the end.

Perhaps or perhaps the new beginning on a water world of Jupiter using Fusion as fuel. Everyone has there own agenda that involves themselves and what they think. For example If Trump or Musk or anyone who controls the working class should get in trouble with an extinction, they will simply buy all the supplies they need to survive and leave people. This is why its so dangerous to have that psycho as president. He doesn't have any concern for you. I live in a safe place in the North with plenty of fresh water. On the day of heat extinction, most people will probably want my circumstances, and I want them to have those circumstances, but those who prepare by enforcing government changes to provide opportunity for the people who are going to die right off the bat where they live to live somewhere thats at least safe from the heat.

Edited by trevor borocz johnson

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Truthseeker007
9 minutes ago, trevor borocz johnson said:

Perhaps or perhaps the new beginning on a water world of Jupiter using Fusion as fuel.

Sure...Plenty other planets in this universe alone.

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Marcus Aurelius
11 hours ago, danydandan said:

It is interesting and some of it is mind boggling and kinda reaffirms my belief in God. I think the same can be said about your knowledge on me too.

I have heard of them theologians, though only through citation not actually reading there material Ill certainly look them up.

Sola scripture is bafflingly ignorant in my opinion, also extremely dangerous. It is governed by hate, racism and bigotry.

My "falling out" from Religion started after my Confirmation, I asked our parish priest how can anyone know which sections of the Bible to take literally and which are fables. He couldn't answer, but being Catholic he stated the Popes interpretation is what he is meant to preach. The issue was he didn't ascribe to what Pope John Paul II thought, and I asked who tells him and does that mean once he dies his opinion is moot? That's when I started reading other Holy books. However my belief in God has never altered.

John Lennox is another great author and theologian who has a scientific background.. his work focuses a bit on apologetics, though. But also very good.

Totally agree with you on Sola Scriptura.

On the last, it sounds as though the priest didn't respect the cornerstone of theology..that is...fides quarens intellectum...or faith seeking understanding. In short, we think in questions. I would love to have someone in my parish who asked me those kind of questions...though not sure I could answer all of them lol. But that's another area of concern, of course. I have nothing but respect for the current Pope and the RCC for that matter...but definitely not a fan of supposed 'infallibility'. That leads to heavy handed doctrine and my way or the highway theology.

But with that said I think your approach is a good one. We have to wrestle with these questions on our own. It is a process of self discovery. 

I've been studying comparative religion for nearly two decades now. It is my area of expertise in theology. I am Christian but I have nothing but love and respect for the other great Faith's of the world and I'm privileged to actually work in the field of interfaith dialogue. There is so much we can learn from our neighbors!!

Lastly I am excited to hear that your work affirms your belief in God. I'd love to hear more about that! I think this whole tension between science and faith is just a sad affair when the two can actually compliment one another!

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danydandan
11 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

John Lennox is another great author and theologian who has a scientific background.. his work focuses a bit on apologetics, though. But also very good.

Totally agree with you on Sola Scriptura.

On the last, it sounds as though the priest didn't respect the cornerstone of theology..that is...fides quarens intellectum...or faith seeking understanding. In short, we think in questions. I would love to have someone in my parish who asked me those kind of questions...though not sure I could answer all of them lol. But that's another area of concern, of course. I have nothing but respect for the current Pope and the RCC for that matter...but definitely not a fan of supposed 'infallibility'. That leads to heavy handed doctrine and my way or the highway theology.

But with that said I think your approach is a good one. We have to wrestle with these questions on our own. It is a process of self discovery. 

I've been studying comparative religion for nearly two decades now. It is my area of expertise in theology. I am Christian but I have nothing but love and respect for the other great Faith's of the world and I'm privileged to actually work in the field of interfaith dialogue. There is so much we can learn from our neighbors!!

Lastly I am excited to hear that your work affirms your belief in God. I'd love to hear more about that! I think this whole tension between science and faith is just a sad affair when the two can actually compliment one another!

Your acceptance and understanding of others and their beliefs is remarkable, it's something you never hear much off. However I will say in Ireland generally people are open minded and greatly accepting of other people's beliefs. Currently I'm reading up on Ancient Egyptians and their Religious beliefs which is interesting and has a lot of parallels in modern Religion and I'm particularly interested in the parallels between, Celtic Mythology and their Religion, and Hindu Mythology and their Religion, they are nearly word for word to the same it appears the ancient Celtic and Hindu people communicated at some time or one migrated to become another people or their were traveling missionaries. Regardless of all the fables and fantasy the most important thing about any Religion is it's moral content, which appears to be nearly Universal. You can follow Islam and find parallels in Shintoism, you could follow Shintoism and find parallels in Jewish teachings, you could follow Judaism and find parallels in Celtic Mythology. What I'm really interested in is, are all these Religious beliefs branches off the same tree?

In terms of my affirmation of God in my work I think it's to do with wonderment of the unknown. In no way is my default position "I don't know therefore God". In particular with virtual particle work I can create something out of nearly, but not quite, nothing. Mathematics also leads me to believe there is a potential for our Universe to be "coded" like a video game. I know this can be argued to have occurred naturally however I like to think our language of maths has created away to accurately describe very accurately our universe which can be construed to be "coded" by a God. I'd like to believe that God created the natural law's we describe with Mathematics but allowed these to evolve naturally without intervention. Which means our existence is a result of these laws and we may or may not be directly created by God. But be of a result of the laws created by God.

I'm an Agnostic Theist I firmly believe that there is a God but I also believe no one can know or understand God. It's why I think Religion is presumptuous and slightly arrogant in it's approach to emphatically stating our beliefs are the only true beliefs.

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Justice please
Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2018 at 6:50 AM, trevor borocz johnson said:

I think it's really dangerous how there isn't any information on the internet linking climate change and the prophecy of the bible, which directly talks about events of extinction and trying to protect the green grass with a Bottomless pit. The religious people I've talked to think the bible is a story or just there job. And climate change people are almost violent in there resistance of the 'Old Science' that is the bible and they need something new all the time. Needing the next new thing is blinding people from the urgency of the prophecy of end times, which isn't confusing to a logical person. The illogical should be last in the food line which is inevitably coming in the NEXT DECADE!!!!

Dear Trevor I agree with you in terms of climate change. I live here in California and the weather has always been fairly nice. As of recent the hot spells have become unbearable.  In the 50's the hottest it would get would be 92 degrees and now we just had a hot spell and in the city where I live it came to 117 the other day! We have never had  heat that bad before so I do feel this climate change. It seems like we are in times of the revelation. People are going crazy all over the world and with the president we have he is not acting like an adult! Who knows what to expect next?

Edited by Justice please

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Marcus Aurelius
20 hours ago, danydandan said:

Your acceptance and understanding of others and their beliefs is remarkable, it's something you never hear much off. However I will say in Ireland generally people are open minded and greatly accepting of other people's beliefs. Currently I'm reading up on Ancient Egyptians and their Religious beliefs which is interesting and has a lot of parallels in modern Religion and I'm particularly interested in the parallels between, Celtic Mythology and their Religion, and Hindu Mythology and their Religion, they are nearly word for word to the same it appears the ancient Celtic and Hindu people communicated at some time or one migrated to become another people or their were traveling missionaries. Regardless of all the fables and fantasy the most important thing about any Religion is it's moral content, which appears to be nearly Universal. You can follow Islam and find parallels in Shintoism, you could follow Shintoism and find parallels in Jewish teachings, you could follow Judaism and find parallels in Celtic Mythology. What I'm really interested in is, are all these Religious beliefs branches off the same tree?

In terms of my affirmation of God in my work I think it's to do with wonderment of the unknown. In no way is my default position "I don't know therefore God". In particular with virtual particle work I can create something out of nearly, but not quite, nothing. Mathematics also leads me to believe there is a potential for our Universe to be "coded" like a video game. I know this can be argued to have occurred naturally however I like to think our language of maths has created away to accurately describe very accurately our universe which can be construed to be "coded" by a God. I'd like to believe that God created the natural law's we describe with Mathematics but allowed these to evolve naturally without intervention. Which means our existence is a result of these laws and we may or may not be directly created by God. But be of a result of the laws created by God.

I'm an Agnostic Theist I firmly believe that there is a God but I also believe no one can know or understand God. It's why I think Religion is presumptuous and slightly arrogant in it's approach to emphatically stating our beliefs are the only true beliefs.

Hello danydandan,

I must say...I have really been enjoying our discussion on here and reading this comment was a particular joy for me. Let me respond to a few things here.

My openness to people of other faiths came as a result of being in a very fundamentalist Christian Church when I first converted to the faith out of atheism. I respect those people to this day....but one time in particular I was attending a class there and the professor, a well known Old Testament scholar....started giving that old familiar line of 'they may have good moral teachings, but unless people of such and such faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior they will be lost and will go to hell.' I was so bothered by that...I thought, REALLY? How can you be so sure? As you say in your post, how can we be full of such theological arrogance as to condemn multitudes of people for no other reason than failing a supposed 'fill-in-the-blank with the only correct name' entrance exam? So I thought what do the other religions themselves say? I went out and read the HH the Dalai Lama's the Art of Happiness and that book changed my entire spiritual life. From there, it just opened the floodgates. I started reading Buddhist Scriptures....read the entire Pali Canon....then started reading Hinduism, Islam, Judaism....I spent years and years reading the sacred texts, the mystics and contemplatives and the scholars of these great faiths. So by the time I got to seminary, I was able to formalize this passion...the specialization I did for my Master of Divinity was in the academic study of comparative religion and interfaith dialogue. As part of all that, I've gotten involved with interfaith organizations in my city. Because of this passion I've been able to travel a lot. Visited sacred sites in different parts of the world. Been in dialogue with Buddhist seminarians training to be monks and nuns. Meditated with Buddhist monks high in the mountains of Korea. Visited Mosques and Hindu temples in Indonesia. At the heart of it all....I can tell you...is that I have this deep love for the sacred. I think religion and humanity's search for the transcendent as expressed by religion...is one of the things that makes us fundamentally human. It's that fundamental longing to connect with something that is greater than the ego self and its expression through the medium of religion resonates so deeply with me that I'm quite literally moved to tears when I see the beauty of a Buddhist temple or I hear the haunting sound of the Islamic Call to Prayer. The search for the sacred. 

So in light of all that, I am of course really excited to hear about your studies there. I must confess I don't know a whole lot about the Celtic religions prior to Christianity, though I am of course disgusted by Christendom's repulsive suppression of them. I have, however, studied Hinduism quite extensively. I've read the Mahabharata, and I would honestly cite both the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads as probably my two favorite sacred texts outside of the Bible. 

You made what I feel is a very accurate statement regarding the similarities of the great religious teachings, especially when it comes to ethics. This is what I found in my years of study as well. We differ in areas of metaphysics, cosmology and even ontology but I often wonder too...could those things be, in a way, mere semantics? You know, in the Holy Quran it says: "And if Allah had willed, He could have made you [of] one religion, but He causes to stray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And you will surely be questioned about what you used to do" and I really feel this penetrates to the heart of the matter. We see within a limited space, we can know only in fragments, thus, I feel like...if we say all truth comes from God...then there is truth in all religions....they are but fractions of a greater whole or like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Will they all fit together in the end? Yes, somehow...I firmly believe, somehow. The most fundamental tenant of Christianity is that God creates to be in relationship, thus why would God be in relationship with some and not others? Perhaps each religion is God's unique way of communicating with the diversity of human beings that God created, and the similarities we see are like God's fingerprints. The wind of the Spirit blows where it will, as the Scriptures say. 

I loved reading about your views on God and the coding. Fantastic. These things, naturally, are out of my depth so I appreciate the layman's terms there lol. It makes total sense to me and from a strictly theological standpoint I would agree with your assessment. For me, when I was an atheist....I ultimately had difficulty believing that all that exists...is nothing more than the products of time and chance. Thomas Aquinas' idea of a First Cause was a watershed discovery for me, and what you say above, sounds perhaps, in a small way similar to that. Once again I think you would especially resonate with Teilhard De Chardin and his Divine Milieu. 

Finally, I suppose the last part (naturally) is the only area I would disagree with you, however slightly. Obviously, I think agnosticism is a very respectable point of view...if you are also leaning theist, it sounds in a way like your views might approach a kind of deism, which I also respect. But for me, with regards to deism specifically....it posed a difficult philosophical question for me, which is why, speaking for myself only, I couldn't accept it....and that was....if God creates and yet is utterly unknowable, and desires no relationship with God's creation...then why create? Why do we exist? As equally as its hard for me to believe in time and chance being our ultimate source, I also find it difficult to accept (though not impossible) the idea of a God who creates a cosmic fish bowl. For me, once I made the leap to theism...God as a relational being simply made the most sense to me. And that is my final point. While I do feel it's impossible to know God on our own, I do feel it's possible to know God through God's own self-revealing. This is what the theologian Karl Barth argued. For my own two cents, it's like we can know God however imperfectly through these sacred texts, through these religions....even if we are just blindfolded and touching various parts of the elephant. And then even through natural theology. Like what you described in your post. We discover this coded language because God wants us to see it. It's a fingerprint, a signature. You know, I think it's quite like what Saint Augustine said...."You have made us for yourself Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you." Now I'm not telling you what to believe. By no means!! I am not nor ever will be one who proselytizes. But what I'm getting at...is the fact I think that's part of the code, if that makes sense? As I said earlier in this post, religion is an expression of our search for the transcendent. Human beings have an innate longing for the transcendent; going all the way back to the primitive cave art. Why is that? I honestly feel it is implanted in our proverbial DNA. You could have a theoretical cataclysmic even that wipes out most if not all humanity, and if humanity were to emerge again...so would religion. Religion, however flawed, however imperfect...is who we are.

I hope I haven't rambled too much and bored you to tears. I have really enjoyed this conversation. You are someone I would enjoy having beers with on the patio chatting about philosophy and the meaning of life, it seems!

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danydandan
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

Hello danydandan,

I must say...I have really been enjoying our discussion on here and reading this comment was a particular joy for me. Let me respond to a few things here.

I also enjoy amicable conversation, it happens here a little to rarely in my opinion. Regarding your whole post I'm actually quite inspired by your philosophical and ethical point of view, also your intelligence.

14 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

My openness to people of other faiths came as a result of being in a very fundamentalist Christian Church when I first converted to the faith out of atheism. I respect those people to this day....but one time in particular I was attending a class there and the professor, a well known Old Testament scholar....started giving that old familiar line of 'they may have good moral teachings, but unless people of such and such faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior they will be lost and will go to hell.' I was so bothered by that...I thought, REALLY? How can you be so sure? As you say in your post, how can we be full of such theological arrogance as to condemn multitudes of people for no other reason than failing a supposed 'fill-in-the-blank with the only correct name' entrance exam? So I thought what do the other religions themselves say? I went out and read the HH the Dalai Lama's the Art of Happiness and that book changed my entire spiritual life. From there, it just opened the floodgates. I started reading Buddhist Scriptures....read the entire Pali Canon....then started reading Hinduism, Islam, Judaism....I spent years and years reading the sacred texts, the mystics and contemplatives and the scholars of these great faiths. So by the time I got to seminary, I was able to formalize this passion...the specialization I did for my Master of Divinity was in the academic study of comparative religion and interfaith dialogue. As part of all that, I've gotten involved with interfaith organizations in my city. Because of this passion I've been able to travel a lot. Visited sacred sites in different parts of the world. Been in dialogue with Buddhist seminarians training to be monks and nuns. Meditated with Buddhist monks high in the mountains of Korea. Visited Mosques and Hindu temples in Indonesia. At the heart of it all....I can tell you...is that I have this deep love for the sacred. I think religion and humanity's search for the transcendent as expressed by religion...is one of the things that makes us fundamentally human. It's that fundamental longing to connect with something that is greater than the ego self and its expression through the medium of religion resonates so deeply with me that I'm quite literally moved to tears when I see the beauty of a Buddhist temple or I hear the haunting sound of the Islamic Call to Prayer. The search for the sacred. 

This whole passage in particular resonated with me deeply. While I haven't travelled to holy lands or conversed with Religious dignitaries I have conversed with various Religious people with a multitude of beliefs and I find most to be open to communicating and discussing their beliefs. I feel it's the minority of small minded individuals who get all the press and notoriety unfortunately.

 

14 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

I loved reading about your views on God and the coding. Fantastic. These things, naturally, are out of my depth so I appreciate the layman's terms there lol. It makes total sense to me and from a strictly theological standpoint I would agree with your assessment. For me, when I was an atheist....I ultimately had difficulty believing that all that exists...is nothing more than the products of time and chance. Thomas Aquinas' idea of a First Cause was a watershed discovery for me, and what you say above, sounds perhaps, in a small way similar to that. Once again I think you would especially resonate with Teilhard De Chardin and his Divine Milieu. 

I don't think I need to delve further into my own beliefs regarding finding God in science, but I'd certainly be open to it if you wish to discuss it more in depth however it would be very technical and some aspects regarding information theory and in particular quantum mechanics would need to be discussed in Mathematical terms and I fell I'd need to write a book to delve deeper not a single post.

However I was and still am inspired by de Chardins two books The Future of Man and in particular Christianity and Evolution. I'd recommend every scientifically minded individual and Religious individual read that book.

14 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

Finally, I suppose the last part (naturally) is the only area I would disagree with you, however slightly. Obviously, I think agnosticism is a very respectable point of view...if you are also leaning theist, it sounds in a way like your views might approach a kind of deism, which I also respect. But for me, with regards to deism specifically....it posed a difficult philosophical question for me, which is why, speaking for myself only, I couldn't accept it....and that was....if God creates and yet is utterly unknowable, and desires no relationship with God's creation...then why create? Why do we exist? As equally as its hard for me to believe in time and chance being our ultimate source, I also find it difficult to accept (though not impossible) the idea of a God who creates a cosmic fish bowl. For me, once I made the leap to theism...God as a relational being simply made the most sense to me. And that is my final point. While I do feel it's impossible to know God on our own, I do feel it's possible to know God through God's own self-revealing. This is what the theologian Karl Barth argued. For my own two cents, it's like we can know God however imperfectly through these sacred texts, through these religions....even if we are just blindfolded and touching various parts of the elephant. And then even through natural theology. Like what you described in your post. We discover this coded language because God wants us to see it. It's a fingerprint, a signature. You know, I think it's quite like what Saint Augustine said...."You have made us for yourself Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you." Now I'm not telling you what to believe. By no means!! I am not nor ever will be one who proselytizes. But what I'm getting at...is the fact I think that's part of the code, if that makes sense? As I said earlier in this post, religion is an expression of our search for the transcendent. Human beings have an innate longing for the transcendent; going all the way back to the primitive cave art. Why is that? I honestly feel it is implanted in our proverbial DNA. You could have a theoretical cataclysmic even that wipes out most if not all humanity, and if humanity were to emerge again...so would religion. Religion, however flawed, however imperfect...is who we are.

Again, I can see your point of view and respect it. I firmly believe that Religion would survive an apocalypse, maybe not survive but re-emerge from the ashes. I think it's an evolutionary trait.

In my view I see God as the coder but, he or she or it, just pressed play on the software so to speak and sat back and enjoyed. I don't think God interferes.

My personal experience is odd as I'm recovering from cancer, without going into too much detail, I died on the operation table and experienced nothing. This also affirmed my initial belief that God doesn't interfere. However my wife, mom and dad say God helped in other ways to keep me alive. By giving me a good doctor, by making me go to my initial test where I was diagnosed, by allowing us to have conceive our second child prior to chemotherapy. Basically if things didn't work out the they did, I'd be dead, my little girl Mimi ( her nickname) would not be alive and I would not have the pleasure of watching both my daughters grow. But I find that hard to believe, as I've seen so many people with other diagnoses who got no help or had no positive outcome. I just find I'm lucky in some respects.

14 hours ago, Marcus Aurelius said:

I hope I haven't rambled too much and bored you to tears. I have really enjoyed this conversation. You are someone I would enjoy having beers with on the patio chatting about philosophy and the meaning of life, it seems!

You sell yourself short, I read no ramblings just great philosophical arguments and thoughts. I'd very much like to to join you on your patio, beer is out of the question though  because of the cancer recovery ongoing. If you happen to travel to Ireland I'll gladly take you up on that offer.

Edited by danydandan
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Marcus Aurelius
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I don't think I need to delve further into my own beliefs regarding finding God in science, but I'd certainly be open to it if you wish to discuss it more in depth however it would be very technical and some aspects regarding information theory and in particular quantum mechanics would need to be discussed in Mathematical terms and I fell I'd need to write a book to delve deeper not a single post.

However I was and still am inspired by de Chardins two books The Future of Man and in particular Christianity and Evolution. I'd recommend every scientifically minded individual and Religious individual read that book.

Perhaps you should consider writing a book! On my end, it's equally refreshing to hear someone from a scientific background so open to the possibility of God and who has seen in their own particular medium evidence for that possibility. As you say, just as our culture likes to tout the religious extremists and the quacks, the press similarly seems to want to characterize every scientist as an atheist....as if everyone out there is like Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. But I think this is just a sad indictment of how our whole mass media machine largely operates on polarization and dividing people into "us" and "them." It has become vexing and toxic. Writings like that would be most welcome, even if they are above my pay grade!

8 hours ago, danydandan said:

Again, I can see your point of view and respect it. I firmly believe that Religion would survive an apocalypse, maybe not survive but re-emerge from the ashes. I think it's an evolutionary trait.

In my view I see God as the coder but, he or she or it, just pressed play on the software so to speak and sat back and enjoyed. I don't think God interferes.

My personal experience is odd as I'm recovering from cancer, without going into too much detail, I died on the operation table and experienced nothing. This also affirmed my initial belief that God doesn't interfere. However my wife, mom and dad say God helped in other ways to keep me alive. By giving me a good doctor, by making me go to my initial test where I was diagnosed, by allowing us to have conceive our second child prior to chemotherapy. Basically if things didn't work out the they did, I'd be dead, my little girl Mimi ( her nickname) would not be alive and I would not have the pleasure of watching both my daughters grow. But I find that hard to believe, as I've seen so many people with other diagnoses who got no help or had no positive outcome. I just find I'm lucky in some respects.

There are a lot of wonderful talking points here. On that first point, I largely agree. The second part, well, I'm just not so sure. It is truly one of the most difficult questions, and in cases like this sometimes I think "I don't know" is actually the most sound theological answer.

On a personal note, I thank God that you made it, and for what it's worth, I will be in prayer for you and for a fully recovery. I pray that you will be by the side of your girls for many, many years to come.

I know just how brutal and awful cancer is....I lost my Mother to it last year, and my Father is also dying from it, and we don't know how long he has...but truly....every day is a gift in the face of that awful curse.

From an intellectual standpoint, as a Pastor I've pretty much seen it all, so in many ways, even I cannot help but echo what you say. I've been to the hospital emergency room holding parents that I didn't even know beforehand in my arms as their young girl lay dead in front of us due to a sudden and unknown cause that the doctors could only speculate had stemmed from a previous injury...gone before she'd even reached the prime of her life. But at the same time, I've been called in to a dire situation where I'm told there are only a few hours left, I go in and administer our United Methodist version of Last Rites or prayers for the dying....and then the person makes a full recovery and is now in good health. I've seen so many things...and this is only my second year in full time ministry out of seminary! And that's why I already know there should never be any stock answers to these questions....because they're just so much straw and nonsense. I believe in a personal God, a God whom I think can and does intervene from time to time....but I just can't say why some people get healed and some people don't. All I can do is appeal to my own lack of knowledge and understanding, that, as Saint Paul says, I see through a glass only darkly. I don't presume to know or understand God's will in this case, and so when I'm in these delicate situations...that are often life and death....I just ultimately try to be a comforting presence, to BE the presence of Christ in that situation. That's all one can really do. But I do pray for healing when the situation warrants it. If I had been there when you began your cancer treatments, for example, I would have been praying for healing and recovery....well...just as I am now. But I always postscript these prayers with "thy will be done." Some might criticize me and say that's a 'lack of faith', that I should just 'claim healing in Jesus' name' but in my opinion that's just ignorance. Surrendering ourselves and our circumstances into the hands of that which is greater than us, I feel, is the true strength of faith. Ask for healing but give me the peace to accept whatever comes.

But in the end, my only theological rationale I suppose for that question and perhaps the whole issue of theodicy in general is that we live in a broken and fallen world where things are not as they should be. It's interesting that if you read between the lines most of the major religions all seem to state that human beings are somehow out of sort with themselves....in a way that could perhaps be summed up as a descent into ego existence....what we Christians would call the fall. Now could God have created us to be otherwise....I don't know, maybe

...but then we wouldn't have freedom. Thus, it seems we have to exist in a world of paradoxes where to be filled, we have to experience emptiness; to know presence, we have to know absence; to know joy, we have to know suffering. There are those New Age thinkers who equate our existence in this world to being a sort of cosmic classroom and I think there's actually a degree of truth to that, in my opinion. 

9 hours ago, danydandan said:

ou sell yourself short, I read no ramblings just great philosophical arguments and thoughts. I'd very much like to to join you on your patio, beer is out of the question though  because of the cancer recovery ongoing. If you happen to travel to Ireland I'll gladly take you up on that offer.

Thank you for the sentiment. I've really been enjoying our conversation on here and I'm grateful our paths have crossed on this forum! And I must say....I would LOVE to take you up on that....I have never been to Ireland, or even Europe for that matter at this point. I'm pretty well traveled and yet I've missed out on all that. But I'm certainly going to get to it someday, God willing! 

 

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danydandan
Posted (edited)
On 17/7/2018 at 6:47 AM, Marcus Aurelius said:

Perhaps you should consider writing a book! On my end, it's equally refreshing to hear someone from a scientific background so open to the possibility of God and who has seen in their own particular medium evidence for that possibility. As you say, just as our culture likes to tout the religious extremists and the quacks, the press similarly seems to want to characterize every scientist as an atheist....as if everyone out there is like Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. But I think this is just a sad indictment of how our whole mass media machine largely operates on polarization and dividing people into "us" and "them." It has become vexing and toxic. Writings like that would be most welcome, even if they are above my pay grade!

There are a lot of wonderful talking points here. On that first point, I largely agree. The second part, well, I'm just not so sure. It is truly one of the most difficult questions, and in cases like this sometimes I think "I don't know" is actually the most sound theological answer.

On a personal note, I thank God that you made it, and for what it's worth, I will be in prayer for you and for a fully recovery. I pray that you will be by the side of your girls for many, many years to come.

I know just how brutal and awful cancer is....I lost my Mother to it last year, and my Father is also dying from it, and we don't know how long he has...but truly....every day is a gift in the face of that awful curse.

From an intellectual standpoint, as a Pastor I've pretty much seen it all, so in many ways, even I cannot help but echo what you say. I've been to the hospital emergency room holding parents that I didn't even know beforehand in my arms as their young girl lay dead in front of us due to a sudden and unknown cause that the doctors could only speculate had stemmed from a previous injury...gone before she'd even reached the prime of her life. But at the same time, I've been called in to a dire situation where I'm told there are only a few hours left, I go in and administer our United Methodist version of Last Rites or prayers for the dying....and then the person makes a full recovery and is now in good health. I've seen so many things...and this is only my second year in full time ministry out of seminary! And that's why I already know there should never be any stock answers to these questions....because they're just so much straw and nonsense. I believe in a personal God, a God whom I think can and does intervene from time to time....but I just can't say why some people get healed and some people don't. All I can do is appeal to my own lack of knowledge and understanding, that, as Saint Paul says, I see through a glass only darkly. I don't presume to know or understand God's will in this case, and so when I'm in these delicate situations...that are often life and death....I just ultimately try to be a comforting presence, to BE the presence of Christ in that situation. That's all one can really do. But I do pray for healing when the situation warrants it. If I had been there when you began your cancer treatments, for example, I would have been praying for healing and recovery....well...just as I am now. But I always postscript these prayers with "thy will be done." Some might criticize me and say that's a 'lack of faith', that I should just 'claim healing in Jesus' name' but in my opinion that's just ignorance. Surrendering ourselves and our circumstances into the hands of that which is greater than us, I feel, is the true strength of faith. Ask for healing but give me the peace to accept whatever comes.

But in the end, my only theological rationale I suppose for that question and perhaps the whole issue of theodicy in general is that we live in a broken and fallen world where things are not as they should be. It's interesting that if you read between the lines most of the major religions all seem to state that human beings are somehow out of sort with themselves....in a way that could perhaps be summed up as a descent into ego existence....what we Christians would call the fall. Now could God have created us to be otherwise....I don't know, maybe

...but then we wouldn't have freedom. Thus, it seems we have to exist in a world of paradoxes where to be filled, we have to experience emptiness; to know presence, we have to know absence; to know joy, we have to know suffering. There are those New Age thinkers who equate our existence in this world to being a sort of cosmic classroom and I think there's actually a degree of truth to that, in my opinion. 

Thank you for the sentiment. I've really been enjoying our conversation on here and I'm grateful our paths have crossed on this forum! And I must say....I would LOVE to take you up on that....I have never been to Ireland, or even Europe for that matter at this point. I'm pretty well traveled and yet I've missed out on all that. But I'm certainly going to get to it someday, God willing! 

 

I'd like to write a book, but have no patience for it (I've tried to write articles) and my grammar is too poorly to write a decent book at any great level. I have however been contimplating writing a book for children on scientific topics.

Cancer is a beast, I'm just over the damage mentally but physically it's difficult. Next month is s year from my surgery. It certainly reaffirmed my wife's beliefs regarding her Religion and God. I think I'm starting to come to the conclusion that things happen for a reason, and weather that's God or not I don't know. I fear I'd need proof for that conclusion. I appreciate your prayers, and you have my condolences regarding your Mother and Father and if you need to talk about it or just get stuff off your chest I'm happy to listen. I know from my experience that having someone to listen to is one of the most important thing to have as you very well know from your own experiences with helping your flock.

I'm in complete agreement regarding theodicy and it's very difficult subject to define and one can only approach it with whatever they feel. It's a subject that has probably shattered and reaffirmed people's beliefs. All you need to do is read a number of threads here to ascertain than we live in a fractured world. But as you pointed out, if you ascribe to following God will you must accept things are the way they are because God willed it.

Edit: If you do cone to Ireland I'd like to show you around Maynooth seminary. It's a beautiful and spirtual place. A place of higher learning.

Edited by danydandan
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Marcus Aurelius
7 hours ago, danydandan said:

Cancer is a beast, I'm just over the damage mentally but physically it's difficult. Next month is s year from my surgery. It certainly reaffirmed my wife's beliefs regarding her Religion and God. I think I'm starting to come to the conclusion that things happen for a reason, and weather that's God or not I don't know. I fear I'd need proof for that conclusion.

I can't imagine what you've had to go through. I'm just glad to hear that you're doing better. 

So your wife is some sort of believer, then? I can understand and appreciate where you're coming from, regardless. As we've been discussing, I think it's hard to say. I would tend towards seeing God in the present moment and the fact that every day is a gift. In spite of how agonizing it is, this is how I see the situation with my father. They told us 6 months but it's been a little over a year...and so truly, it is a gift. 

In fact, one might say when we go looking for miracles...so much of the time we look in the wrong places; not in these extraordinary events, but in our everyday lives and the shared moments with those we love. That is the true miracle.

 

7 hours ago, danydandan said:

and you have my condolences regarding your Mother and Father and if you need to talk about it or just get stuff off your chest I'm happy to listen.

Thank you for this. I will seriously probably take you up on that. One of the reasons why I've kept coming back to this forum over the years is because of all the wonderful people I've met on here. It isn't all about the debates and the conversations!

 

7 hours ago, danydandan said:

If you do cone to Ireland I'd like to show you around Maynooth seminary. It's a beautiful and spirtual place. A place of higher learning.

I would be so honored!!! I just googled it out of curiosity and my eyes about popped out of my head!! Absolutely breathtaking. I'm quite at home in Roman Catholic seminaries. For my own education, as an Ecumenist, I was privileged to take seminary courses at the Pontifical College Josephinum; the only Pontifical school in the United States. It was awesome. 

My wife is from the Philippines too, so she is Catholic. I've toured a lot of the holy sites and shrines in the Philippines. 

I have really got to get to Europe, though!!

 

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